The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • David M. Blau
Reference work entry


The market for childcare and the role of the government in the childcare market have grown enormously as mothers of young children have entered the labour force in very large numbers. Economists have made important contributions to understanding many aspects of childcare. This article focuses on (a) the effect of the price of childcare on labour force participation of mothers of young children, (b) the effect of childcare and early childhood interventions on children, and (c) the rationale for and effects of government involvement in childcare. Fruitful avenues of additional research are suggested.


Adverse selection Child development Childcare Childcare subsidies Education production function Head start Human capital Imperfect information Labour force participation Market imperfections Moral hazard Poverty Random assignment Selfsufficiency Women 

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  1. Blau, D. 2001. The child care problem: An economic analysis. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  2. Blau, D., and J. Currie. 2006. Preschool, day care, and after school care: Who’s minding the kids? In Handbook on the economics of education, ed. E. Hanushek and F. Welch. Amsterdam: North-Holland.Google Scholar
  3. Gladden, T., and C. Taber. 2000. Wage progression among less skilled workers. In Finding jobs: Work and welfare reform, ed. R. Blank and D. Card. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  4. Walker, J. 1991. Public policy and the supply of child care services. In The economics of child care, ed. D. Blau. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Blau
    • 1
  1. 1.